PLANS to replace 12-year-old artificial pitches at Witton Country Park in Blackburn are set to be approved.

Blackburn with Darwen Council is proposing to install two new full-size 3G pitches at the park. The application is expected to be approved when the planning and highways committee meets next week.

A council spokesman said: “The council has been working positively with the Football Association on a potential new and exciting scheme to refurbish the existing sand filled all weather pitches at Witton Park, which are in excess of 12 years old, with two full size 3G pitches, new fencing, flood lights and updated changing facilities.

“The investment required to deliver this scheme is not yet secured however the council and FA are committed to delivering this scheme to the benefit of competitive football teams and recreational football players from across Blackburn and Darwen.”

A design and access statement submitted as part of the application reads: “The refurbished AGPs will continue to be located close to existing within adjacent pavilion; providing convenient access to and from changing rooms offering welfare accommodation and administration facilities.

“No alterations to the surrounding playing field provided at Witton Country Park are necessary to implement the proposed AGPs refurbishment and existing grass summer and winter playing pitches will be unaffected by this proposal.

“This proposed location will also afford convenient pedestrian, maintenance and emergency access as well and providing for suitable management, supervision and security.”

The statement adds: “This application seeks planning permission to refurbish an existing external artificial grass pitch (AGP) to contribute to the improvement of sporting facilities for curriculum use, match play and training at Witton Country Park.

“The refurbished AGP

will continue to provide sporting benefits to local organisations and community groups in the surrounding areas of Blackburn and East Lancashire, including local junior and youth football clubs.”